Lemon Cake with Raspberry Amaretto Sauce

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Amaretto Sauce | in this kitchen

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Amaretto Sauce | in this kitchen

It’s gotten to the point where I’m able to sit and type this out with both windows in my living room open, looking out onto the little courtyard outside our apartment, that now offers plenty of green trees and birds making their little bird-sounds. Soon the apartment will turn back on the mini waterfall-and-river water feature out there too, a little stream that winds its way around a little bridge and stops at the waterfall near the outdoor grills. It’s one of my favorite things about this apartment, and it really is best in spring and summer, which are finally showing their faces around here. It is my favorite thing when the weather picks up and makes the world feel livable again (can you tell I’m from the hot desert?).

This lemon cake with raspberry amaretto sauce completely feels like spring & summer to me. They’d be great any time, but there is lots of fresh lemon zest throughout the cake and sweet and tart raspberries poured onto the top, and it ends up being refreshing and still decadent. Ina Garten can do no wrong with her cake recipes.

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Amaretto Sauce | in this kitchen

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Easy Coffee and Walnut Cake

Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Howcome no one told me it was so hard to frost cakes?? Well, okay, actually I’ve heard that a million times, but… they make it look so easy on TV! You can see my amateur cake frosting on this coffee and walnut cake here, but I promise you that this cake was very straightforward and easy to make, and for anyone with even a *little* bit of experience frosting cakes, I’m sure you’ll have a far prettier cake than I did. And this cake is so, so good that it doesn’t matter how “homespun” (to use Nigella Lawson’s term) it looks – it will be devoured.

This cake has walnuts throughout the batter, walnuts that have been whizzed up with sugar in the food processor, creating the most delicious walnut-sugar powder (I admit, I tried it straight out of the food processor). And yes, basically the whole shebang – batter and frosting – can all be made in your food processor (thanks, Nigella!).

Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

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Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

I’m a big fan of a humble cake.

There are so many unbelievably gorgeous cakes out there that are works of art, that are so beautiful you hesitate to cut into them – my boyfriend works for a high-end bakery that specializes in just these kinds of cakes, so around here we don’t exactly have a pressing need to make multilayer tiered and frosted cakes at home.

So enter the humble cake; it’s a quick batter – made even quicker if you weigh your ingredients rather than measure them – that comes out perfectly crackly on the top and then gets a snowshower of powdered sugar. This ricotta dark chocolate cake is one of these cakes. It’s not very sweet, but is deeply chocolatey, goes incredibly well with whipped cream, and is the perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

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cinnamon roll cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake on www.inthiskitchen.com

cinnamon roll cake [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I remember my first recipe very well. I really don’t know how old I was when I made it, maybe… somewhere between 7 and 10 years old? But I remember the day I made it quite vividly. It was for “dough roll cinnamons,” which I creatively spelled “doo roll cinamins,” which consisted of plush Wonder Bread-style white bread, ripped into pieces, rolled into balls, coated in butter, and dipped in cinnamon sugar. Then they were baked in the little toaster oven until heated through and the outside got a nice crunch. I was beaming and proud of my recipe on the day I made it, and though I hope I’ve moved on to a bit more advanced recipes by now, I don’t think I’d balk at eating a few dough roll cinnamons even today.

Here’s my recipe in all its glory, which, bless her, my mom saved:

do-roll cinnamons

In any case, today’s recipe is in a similar vein flavor-profile wise, but I must admit it is much better than a little dough-roll cinnamon. It’s a cinnamon roll cake, which I had to try after seeing the recipe and its gorgeous photos, because it just looked irresistible. It turned out exactly how I’d expected: super soft cake with its insides swirled with cinnamon sugar, and a crackly top that gets a good drizzle of sweet cream cheese icing. It’s certainly decadent, but that’s what this time of year is for, no?

cinnamon roll cake [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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magic custard cake

Vanilla Magic Custard Cake on www.inthiskitchen.com

Vanilla Magic Custard Cake on www.inthiskitchen.com

magic custard cake

If you make the rounds on Pinterest, chances are you may have seen this cake before. It’s been around for years now, and it has been on my to-do list ever since I saw Todd and Diane rave about it on White on Rice Couple. I finally got around to making it, and I’m so glad I did!

magic custard cake

magic custard cake

This cake really reminds me of one thing that sounds totally different, but is similarly fluffy and custardy all at once: a dutch baby pancake. This magic custard cake shares a similar flavor to a dutch baby/german pancake to me – with a pillowy and light cake top and a thick and creamy custard center (but of course, this cake is much thicker and more dense than a pancake). The cake is very easy to make, and the batter is liquidy and easy to mix. Don’t worry if the batter feels way too liquidy to you – it’s supposed to be that way.

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double chocolate banana bread

double chocolate banana bread [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I only have one sub-par picture of this wonderful chocolate banana bread because it was so good we already ate the rest of it. Or most of it, at least. I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen when Deb posted it in March, and immediately wanted to make it. I finally got around to it this weekend and I am totally in love. Let’s be honest, all banana bread is actually cake, and this one especially fits the bill with its deep chocolate flavor and pockets of melty chocolate chunks.

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vanilla & chocolate ganache cupcakes

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I hadn’t made real homemade cupcakes in about 3 years. I used to live in an apartment with 3 other people where it was a lot easier to make sure I wouldn’t just eat them all myself, but now they loom in my kitchen begging to be eaten. But it had been too long since I’d made them and I wanted to make a nice and simple vanilla cupcake with a dark chocolate ganache topping.

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red wine chocolate cake

After spending the past month laboring over studying for the GRE exam, and finally taking it yesterday, all I wanted to do today was relax. When free time abounds, I usually get the bug to start baking or cooking again.

I have a weakness for extremely simple recipes, standard things that have one special outstanding ingredient. This definitely qualifies – I’ve had chocolate cake a thousand times, but never one with red wine in it. I’ve had it in my “recipes” bookmarks for over a year now, and finally got around to slapping it together today. It comes together *really* fast and easily. The red wine gives it a delicious heady taste without tasting like alcohol at all.

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This is awesome with some fresh raspberries on the side, and would likely work great as cupcakes as well, with a ganache frosting, fresh whipped cream, or confectioner’s sugar.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake
From 17 and Baking
Makes a 9×5″ loaf

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (6 7/8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2 5/8 ounces) Dutch cocoa powder*
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

*If you can only find Natural-process cocoa, leave out the baking powder and use 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.

Beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugars and cream until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg until well combined, then mix in the wine, yogurt, and vanilla. The batter might look curdled, but don’t worry. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a spoon until there are no streaks of flour left, scraping down the sides of the bowl and being careful not to over mix.

Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake 60-70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn it out.